December 17, 2013

Dissolvable Under-the-Tongue Apomorphine Strips to Resolve Freezing of Gait in Parkinsonians

A Canadian company -- Cynapsus Therapeutics-- is developing a thin, quick-dissolving strip for Parkinsonians who suffer freezing of gait (FOG). When they have a FOG episode, they’d simply put one of these strips under the tongue. The “rescue therapy” then takes effect within a minute and a half, according to the company’s product explanation.

Called APL-130177, the sublingual film delivers a quick dose of the FDA-approved drug apomorphine, currently available only in injectable form. This new delivery system – in final human trial stage – eliminates the pain, stress, injection site irritation, and considerable awkwardness that accompany the needle method.

It’s another piece of good news for PWPs, who have recently learned about the availability of a new ankle bracelet that senses the onset of FOG and delivers an audible cue to the wearer’s earpiece – a cue as simple as the word “walk.”

FOG isn’t simply an inconvenience. It’s dangerous if it occurs at the wrong time and place, like crossing the street. A recent study at Washington University in St. Louis suggests that FOG sufferers are more likely to have impaired balance generally. Instability leads to falls, which carry the frightening risk of serious injury, especially for seniors.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation was impressed enough with APL-130177 that it awarded Cynapsus Therapeutics a grant to study the new apomorphine delivery system. The Toronto-based company issued this statement:
The hope is that a new, injection-free option for rescue therapy could address some of the unmet needs of Parkinson's patients who experience freezing episodes. The recent study of impaired balance sheds light on freezing episodes and could inspire further research, and help prompt more discussions, both in and outside the medical community, about freezing episodes and the lifestyles of patients who experience them.

1 comment:

Michael G Hagan said...

Regarding "off" periods, another product going into phase iii in early 2015 is a C-L inhaler(Civitas), also as a "rescue" therapy. I've written a couple of articles on the subject of new therapies for "off" episodes in Search under the name Michael Hagan